Law firm of the year: Osborne Clarke takes top accolade at The Lawyer Awards

Osborne Clarke scooped the top prize at The Lawyer Awards last night after it secured the Law Firm of the Year award.

Law Firm of the Year, sponsored by the event’s headline sponsor Travelers, is the top award of the night. Osborne Clarke was recognised for its energy and momentum as well as its client-centric culture. The success of its five-year strategy has bolstered the firm’s financial performance in recent years, making it the one to beat amongst its peer group.

Meanwhile, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld was named International Firm of the Year at the ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, attended by over 1,200 lawyers and hosted by William Hague.

It has been a transformational year for Akin Gump. In London, the acquisition of the entire London office of Bingham McCutchen was the largest-ever team move in Europe. This deal more than doubled the size of Akin’s office – to more than 70 lawyers – and created arguably the world’s most significant cross-border financial restructuring practice.

Welsh Rugby Union Group  general counsel Rhodri Lewis was named as In-house Lawyer of the Year. Lewis wowed judges, coming across as “a great leader who has really made a difference for the Welsh Rugby Union” as well as being “an extremely accomplished lawyer”.

The Client Partner of the Year award went to Slaughter and May partner Andy Ryde in recognition of his outstanding work for insurer RSA. Ryde played a key role in guiding the company through a particularly demanding period, advising on both legal and strategic matters.

Other notable award-winners last night included Matrix Chambers, which was named Chambers of the Year. Judges said Matrix “stands out, over and above its competitors”, praising its phenomenal list of cases and stellar cast of silk appointments.

Barrister of the Year went to Serjeant’s Inn Chambers’ Bridget Dolan for her work on seven concurrent inquests into the deaths of Britons at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria during a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda in 2013.

The awards were held in association with Travelers.

The full list of winners and runners-up:

Finance Team of the Year 

Winner: Sidley Austin
Runner-up: Slaughter and May
Third: Herbert Smith Freehills

In-house TMT

Winner: Guardian News and Media
Runner-up: Skyscanner
Third: Hitachi Data Systems

Restructuring Team of the Year

Winner: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Runner-up: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Third: White & Case

Real Estate Team of the Year

Winner: Taylor Wessing
Runner-up: DLA Piper
Third: Clyde & Co

Corporate Team of the Year

Winner: Jones Day
Runner-up: Hogan Lovells
Third: Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

IPO Team of the Year

Winner: Linklaters
Runner-up: Paul Hastings
Third: Winston & Strawn London

Competition Team of the Year

Winner: Berwin Leighton Paisner
Runner-up: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Third: Nabarro

Infrastructure Projects Team of the Year

Winner: Slaughter and May
Runner-up: Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
Third: Bircham Dyson Bell

Litigation Team of the Year

Winner:  Clyde & Co
Runner-up: White & Case
Third: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Employment Team of the Year

Winner: Leigh Day
Runner-up: Linklaters
Third: Burges Salmon

Regulatory Team of the Year

Winner: Blake Morgan
Runner-up: Osborne Clarke
Third: DWF

Funds Team of the Year

Winner: Hogan Lovells
Runner-up: O’Melveny & Myers
Third: Linklaters

Ethical Initiative of the Year

Winner: Reed Smith
Runner-up: Withy King
Third: Clifford Chance

ABS of the Year

Winner: Aspire Law
Runner-up: Gunnercooke
Third: Knights

Client Partner of the Year

Winner: Andy Ryde, Slaughter and May
Runner-up: Angus McBride, Kingsley Napley
Third: Richard Egan, Tuckers Solicitors

In-house Banking & Financial Services Team of the Year

Winner: RSA Insurance Group
Runner-up: OneSavings Bank
Third: The London Metal Exchange

Offshore Firm of the Year

Winner: Ogier
Runner-up: Mourant Ozannes
Third: Carey Olsen

In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year

Winner: Amey
Runner-up: Asda
Third: UK Power Networks

Boutique Firm of the Year – City

Winner: Trinity International
Runner-up: CANDEY
Third: Kemp Little

IP Team of the Year

Winner: Baker & McKenzie
Runner-up: Bristows
Third: Michelmores

In-house Public Sector Team of the Year

Winner: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Runner-up: The Pensions Protection Fund
Third: Buckinghamshire Law Plus

Boutique Firm of the Year – National

Winner: Tapestry Compliance
Runner-up: Roberts Jackson
Third: Giles Wilson

Barrister of the Year

Winner: Bridget Dolan – Serjeants’ Inn Chambers
Runner-up: Jenni Richards QC – 39 Essex Chambers
Third: Gerry Boyle – Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

International Firm of the Year

Winner: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Runner-up: White & Case
Third: Ropes & Gray

In-house Lawyer of the Year

Winner: Rhodri Lewis, Welsh Rugby Union Group
Runner-up: Thomas Brown, PayPal
Third: Zoe Bucknell, OneSavings Bank

Chambers of the Year

Winner: Matrix Chambers
Runner-up: Outer Temple Chambers
Third: Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

Law Firm of the Year

Winner: Osborne Clarke
Runner-up: Clyde & Co
Third: Stewarts Law